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Pulchra Morte - Ex Rosa Ceremonia

Pulchra Morte
Ex Rosa Ceremonia
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 11 December 2020, 3:15 PM

PULCHRA MORTE is a death/doom from America, formed in 2017. "Ex Rosa Ceremonia" is their second full length album. PULCHRA MORTE come with quite the pedigree–the band is made up of current and former members of SKELETONWITCH, WOLVHAMMER, and ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, among others. All this talent should make for one evil slab of death infused doom, right? You bet your fetid rotten ass it does.

"Ex Rosa Ceremonia," is an album that is equally adept in attempting to cave in skulls as it is slowing down and letting the riffs shine. And there are riffs for days on this album.  The guitar tone is menacing with just the right amount of grave mold and groove. The first track "The Serpents Choir," begins with a huge opening riffs, powerful drums and an unstoppable juggernaut of an attitude. Ever wanted to know what bands like CANDLEMASS, TROUBLE, or even SABBATH would sound like if they were death metal? This song answers that questions. The death growls are appropriately potent, a good mix of low growls and high screams.

Despite the crushing combinations of metal's two heaviest genres, the guitars are equally as adapt to more melodic textures. "Fires of Coils," has a lot of bite because the vocals are often layered with the high and low growls together. The tempo is more mid paced than the opening track but they still doom it up with the songs mid-section which serves as a melodic bridge to the more intense second half. The drums accent this renewed fury well.

"Prince Among Shadows," has a surprising Gothic texture to the riffs with the way the melody accents the atmosphere. The guitar solo is well done and melds into the riffs before thunder hits and the band comes raging out of the veil. Cleans vocals can be heard but they are used sparingly but fit the song's mood. The songs second half is one part emotional solos and another part straight up death metal but ends on the Gothic overtones that began the song.

My favorite song on the album is "The Archer & The Noose." Every aspect of the song is incredibly well done. I can safely say this has is becoming one of my favorite doom songs of the year, out of the literal hundreds I've heard. The melodic groove and subtle use of clean vocals set the mood immediately. The song hits hard afterwords, perpetually stalking forward like a beast after its prey. The screams around the 2:45 mark are amazing and the song plays off them well.

The final, and title, track "Ex Rosa Ceromonia," is another personal highlight. The opening scream sends shiver up my spine and the sorrowful, destitute music adds to the growing tension. The movement at 1:26 when the song slows down and those deep gutturals come in….magical! The song speeds back up, the drums knocking it out of the park before another slower pace movement comes in.  The song gets progressively heavier as it fades out to an ominous finish.

PULCHRA MORTE's "Ex Rosa Ceramonia" is a death/doom album that hits the spot for converging death metal, doom, Gothic and melodic aspects into one very cohesive force.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Serpent's Choir
2. Fires of Coil
3. Knife of the Will
4. In the Mourning Light
5. Prince Among Shadows
6. The Archer & The Noose
7. To Suffer (The Way You Do)
8. Locust Humanity
9. Ex Rosa Ceremonia
10. Principio Ad Finem
Clayton Gore - Drums
Jeffrey Breden - Guitars
Jarrett Pritchard - Guitars
John Porada - Bass
Adam Clemans – Vocals
Record Label: Transcending Records


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